Long, sunny days spent in soft, cotton tops and wafty skirts may feel like a lifetime away (or even like they may never occur again), as we battle snow, ice and that weird sludgy stuff nobody likes. But fashion is fashion, existing in its own world where winter happens in summer and the bits in between are for perma-holidays with a wardrobe to match. Even on the high street, brands have started to drip-feed us with glimpses of their spring/summer collections, gargantuan-sized images of yellow sundresses and sandals now taunting me as I trundle drearily to work each morning. Not all is lost, however; these daily walks have inspired me to find the new pieces that we can all buy now and, well, wear now. So, even if your daily routine doesn’t feel fresh and exciting, at least your wardrobe will.
The pop of animal print
Animal print continues to dominate next season, thanks to the likes of Tom Ford, Rejina Pyo and Rochas. While the catwalks were predominantly concerned with leopard spots, the high street is awash with snake, zebra and giraffe – oh, my. Check out Mango’s fresh new take on tiger stripes, while for something to throw on every day, this Topshop skirt is ideal. Wear now with ankle boots, tights and oversized knits and then swap for bare ankles, a white T-shirt and a smug smile come summer.
The new twist on a jumpsuit
How many times can I wax lyrical about the benefits of an all-in-one? Turns out, quite a few. But, truly, boilersuits are a winner, rain or shine. The list of designers peddling them for next season is almost inexhaustible: Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, Alberta Ferretti, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander... On the high street, they’re pretty much everywhere, although & Other Stories has a particularly fab selection, including this cord number (it also comes in beige, which is another major trend for spring). Layer a roll neck underneath (as I’ve said before, this one goes with everything) and wear with pointed boots and then, come sun (please, God, send us sun) try unbuttoned with a glimpse of a lace camisole underneath. Yes, OK, it may be slightly more of a faff to go to the loo but, unlike with jumpsuits that fasten at the back, the button-down front means faffing is marginal. They’re comfy, versatile and easy to throw on without too much thought, suggesting the benefits outweigh everything else.
Florals for spring might not be groundbreaking, but the new clashing patterns seen at Versace, Preen and Balenciaga certainly feel it. In my head, it’s the easy way to look like you’ve styled an innovative outfit without actually doing anything except for putting on an item of clothing. Genius. Kitri is leading the charge on this one, this blouse being a prime example. Wear unbuttoned over that trusty roll neck now and, come spring, you can tuck into high-waisted jeans without even thinking about a second layer.
The acid-wash revival
A vaguely terrifying product of the 1980s, acid-wash denim featured heavily in spring collections. When even Dior is doing it, you know you’re in trouble. Fear not, however – you don’t need to dig out your bleached denim waistcoat just yet. There are pieces to be found on the high street that are a subtle, very wearable take on the trend. These M&S jeans, for example, will make you look more dressed-down chic than Britney-on-tour. Unless the latter is your vibe, which for me it is. But only on the second Thursday of every month.
The statement suit
Canary-yellow skirt suits at Escada, tangerine two-pieces at Roksanda and crushed silk sets at Armani – fashion has decided that the perennial of workwear needed a lift, in the form of bold, bright colours. I’ve found that a suit is an easy way to look like you’ve tried, and these new rainbow-hued iterations are a fresh spin on an old classic. Boden’s suit comes in a very wearable green (very Gucci SS19, for anyone who’s interested), and the culottes make it extra flattering.
The still-going-strong slip skirt
The 90s may have given us questionable hair ‘dos, largely problematic rom coms and bootcut jeans, but there’s a lot to be said for slip skirts, one of the better exports of the decade. As Frankie Graddon discussed back in October, these midis have made a triumphant return to the high street, with Topshop selling them faster than it could re-stock. They work excellently with chunky jumpers, tights and boots, which can all be swapped for cami tops, block heels and gold jewellery when the days start to thaw. This Zara number is also leopard print – how’s that for a double whammy?
The everyday bow
Oversized, ornate bows may have looked deliciously dramatic on the catwalks of Dries Van Noten, Valentino, Miu Miu and Erdem, but when you’re popping to your local Pizza Express, it’s a different matter entirely. This is why I would suggest opting for a more subtle take on the trend – Ghost’s bow-tied midi is an easy way to do it, plus you can wear it now and well into wedding season. Or, Rejina Pyo’s midi for Label/Mix puts bows on the sleeves, for those who don’t want anything too fussy. If that’s still all a bit much for your minimalist tastes, try accessories instead. These ASOS pumps work with or without tights, while you can’t really go wrong with a headband, especially not this one from Anthropologie. When it really is summer, I’d suggest these fantastic gingham sandals from the wonderful Miista – just looking at them is enough to coerce anyone into booking a holiday.